by Daniel Rodgers

Then Came Amalek
Dan Rodgers
Exodus 17:8-16
June 1, 2008

INTRODUCTION: As we pick up our story in Exodus, chapter 17, we find Israel encamped at Rephidim, when they are suddenly attacked by the Amalekites. The Amalekites were a nomadic people who lived in the area of the Negev desert. Amalek was the grandson of Esau, the brother of Jacob. You will remember that Esau was the one who sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of pottage. So, Amalek came from bad stock, and though a distant cousin, he hated Israel with a vengeance. God would later command King Saul to destroy the entire nation of the Amalekites for their sin against Israel.

There are three things I would like for us to see from this story:

I. Israel's Vulnerability
II. Israel's Vexation
III. Israel's Victory


Israel was vulnerable. They were tired from their long journey; they were depressed. Many began to complain; some even wanted to return to Egypt. In (vs. 3b), it says, "And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?" Amalek waited until the time was just right before making his attack. The time was right--God's people had let down their guard.

A. The Enemy Knew When to Attack

1. Israel had traveled nearly 500 miles on foot in the wilderness, bearing the heat of the day and cold from the desert nights...they were tired. This was not an easy journey.

a. In a similar way, we, too, are on a journey, traveling from this land to the next; and I must admit, sometimes, it is not easy. We face enormous pressures and trials--trouble abounds; and at times, it seems there is no end to it. This is when we must be careful. If we are not, like Israel, we will begin to complain and grumble. Some might even be tempted to return to Egypt. When a man finds himself in th ...

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